Here are some Historical Christmas reads that I think you may like, and this post will be in two or three parts because I just can’t get enough of my regency, victorian or medieval stories.
‘Knight of Christmas’ by Karyn Gerrard
STORY: Christmas is the last thing on Brandon Knight’s mind when he returns to his hometown after ten years away. Arriving in time for his foe Viscount Ravenhurst’s funeral, his plans of vengeance are now thwarted. Instead he focuses retribution on the lovely widow Lady Angeline. They share a debauched, painful past though a fiery passion had grown from their brief time together. Broken hearts were left in the wake of their desire.
Angeline feels nothing inside. After suffering a devastating loss and a horrible marriage, she and her son are now destitute. Bran steps forward with an outrageous offer and Angeline has no choice but to accept.
Bran will have to surrender his plans for revenge to help bring Angeline back to life. The attraction still sizzles between them. They once loved each other but doubt they are able to do so again. However, it’s Christmas and anything is possible.
REVIEW: I need to start this review with letting you all know that this is being sold as an erotica novella and I usually don’t read erotica, unless it’s written by Monica Burns or Karyn Gerrard. The reason behind reading it from these two authors only is because while they do write explicit romance scenes, they somehow manage to wrap them up so well as sweet and sensual to a degree that the ‘eroticism’ is over my head because everything else in their stories is so well written that I do not mind the explicitness.
This story is a wonderful telling of second chance in love for our hero and heroine and I loved their determination to overcome the past and their misconceptions of that past, to accept each other and take a second chance at love not many people get.
I’m not going to go too much into the plot because the story is short but my heart was breaking as I read about the past of our two protagonists and the pain they were put through by some very evil people.
Ms. Gerrard is one of the few authors out there today that doesn’t shy away or waters down the writing when it comes to telling a tale of a tortured hero/heroine. Yet reading her prose, you can’t help but be in the moment or a setting she writes about.
I couldn’t help and see, smell and feel this place …
In the corner of the room stood the huge Christmas tree he and Peter selected. The tree was so large its tip brushed the eight-foot ceiling. He could see the love and care taken in decorating it. Gold-painted pinecones dangled from the branches and garlands of popcorn circled the tree. Cherries and holly barriers were clustered together in the boughs. Tiny frosted cakes were also used as hanging decorations as well as silver foil and red ribbon.
At the top of the tree perched an angelic fairy decked out in lace and gold. Lit beeswax candles were on nearly every branch and Reilly the footman stood nearby to ensure the candles did not set the tree alight. Colorful wrapped presents sat on the floor in front of the tree. Snow gently fell over the town. Gas lights cast a magical glow on the cobblestone street.
It was quiet now, and he could no longer hear the lusty singing of the carolers. A carriage went by, the horse’s hooves clopping on the stones. In the distance the peal of church bells rang out in the still, frosty air.
Regardless of the genre, I highly recommend this story to all of you that believe in second chances and miracles of Christmas season.
‘I’ve Got My Duke to Keep Me Warm’ by Kelly Bowen
STORY: Where Secrets Smolder…
Calm. Cool. Collected. Gisele Whitby has perfected the art of illusion—her survival, after all, has depended upon it. Years ago, to escape an abusive husband, Gisele “disappeared.” Now she must risk revealing her new identity to save another innocent girl from the same fate. But she needs a daring man for her scheme, and the rogue in question shows a remarkable talent . . . for shattering Gisele’s carefully constructed façade and igniting her deepest desires.
This isn’t the first time Jamie Montcrief has awakened naked and confused from a night of drinking. It is, however, the first time a stunningly beautiful woman offers him payment afterward. Gisele has a business proposition for him, a mission involving cunning thievery and a brazen rescue. How can he say no to a plot this dangerous . . . and a woman this delectable?
REVIEW: I chose this book because of the title [I’m a huge Dean Martin fan and love his “I’ve Got My Love to Keep Me Warm” song] but it’s the wonderful writing that kept me glued to this story.
This is apparently a debut novel, although I couldn’t tell by reading it. Just a quick aside that if you’re a fan of Julia Quinn, no doubt in my mind you’ll become a fan of Kelly Bowen. There’s a lot happening in this tale that will keep you on your toes and have you biting your nails.
If you like strong willed, smart and witty heroines, than this book is for you. If you’re into heroes that are hiding their Alpha under their Beta, then you’ve only to read about this man. If you’re like me and appreciate a fast moving plot filled with suspense throughout the story, than you just gotta read this story!
‘The Viscount’s Christmas Temptation’ by Erica Ridley
STORY: Certain individuals might consider Lady Amelia Pembroke a managing sort of female, but truly, most people would be lost without her help. Why, the latest on-dit is that rakish Viscount Sheffield is canceling the fête of the year because he hasn’t time for silly soirees. He doesn’t need time—he needs her!
When a flash of lightning destroys the venue for his family’s annual Christmas ball, Lord Benedict Sheffield intends to enjoy a relaxing holiday for once. But after twelve days of beguiling Lady Amelia’s guerrilla tactics, he’s up to his cravat with tinsel . . . and tumbling head over heels in love.
REVIEW: I love it when authors gift their fans with free prequels to a brand new series and this one is laugh out loud entertaining and a perfect set up for Erica Ridley’s new Dukes of War regency romance series!
For a short [only 148 pages] novella, this packs a powerful punch with its clever plot and even cleverer duo, Lady Amelia and Lord Benedict [why do I picture Benedict Cumberbatch every time I picture the hero?].
The story is fast-moving and the dialogue and situations where our couple finds themselves are well written and the romance that quickly develops between the two, sweet and believable.
Highly recommending it to all that love strong characterization, witty dialogue and fast paced well written story. This FREE novella makes for a great introduction to this author, so please get it while it’s still FREE!
Here is The Dukes of War series order:
The Viscount’s Christmas Temptation (#0.5) FREE!
The Earl’s Defiant Wallflower (#1) [Connie’s review here]
The Captain’s Bluestocking Mistress (#2)
Melanie for b2b
Complimentary copies provided by the publisher